JUST MONTHS AFTER becoming a unit of the Norwegian software firm Sysdeco Group AS ? its third owner in three years ? Atex Publishing Systems is using tools from its new parent to develop a customized production tracking and information management system for the Boston Globe.
Atex is more than halfway into the project at the Globe, with the text phase completed just before the recent Nexpo exposition, Atex software developer Martin Davies said in an interview on the show floor.
The system now allows the Globe to track pages at its 600-terminal metro and has the capability, with geographic information system software from Sysdeco, to see and manage administrative and geographical information ? an especially useful tool for real estate advertising, for example.
Atex ? which long ago accomplished the wrenching transition from proprietary publishing systems to an "integrator" of standards-based open architecture, scalable systems ? emphasizes that the system which emerges at the Globe is not a shrinkwrap product.
Nevertheless, it has elements likely to be common to solutions that would work at other papers. For one thing, the system allows operators to look at the whole paper or whole sections.
Warnings alert operators to impending deadlines or missing elements.
A relational database is employed. At Boston, Atex used the newspaper's existing Sybase database, but any similar database could be recompiled to work in the tracking system, software developer Davies said.
At Nexpo, Atex was also demonstrating its Atex/DewarView editorial solution that uses the DewarView workflow management tool for groups to tie together relational database, page composition, word processing and electronic publishing functions such as e-mail.
Atex integrates DewarView with the Sybase database running on an IBM RS/6000 configuration that includes fault tolerance and data redundancy.
Also during Nexpo, Atex announced it will offer Edgil Associate's EdgCapture, a payment automation and electronic funds transfer system, as an option for its Atex Enterprise Advertising System. The option allows newspapers to process credit card transactions directly.
The PC-based EdgCapture is installed at about 40 U.S. newspapers.
Enterprise uses a Sybase database on the IBM RS/6000 server with PCs acting as clients to integrate advertising functions ranging from ad order entry to sales activity monitoring.
By: Mark Fitzgerald job: merging new owner's technology Sysdeco buys Dewar sp.